[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ventral anterior nucleus of the thalamus (VATh) gathers motor information from the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi) and substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNpr) of the basal ganglia and projects directly to motor areas of cortex. GPi/SNpr send their tonically active gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic outputs to VATh. The abnormal firing patterns of GABAergic neurons in GPi/SNpr lead to motor deficits. In Parkinson's disease, the spontaneous firing pattern of GPi/SNpr neurons is abnormal due to the degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. In a previous study, we found that systemically administered vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) was effective at reversing the motor deficits (but not the decline in striatal dopamine levels) in a rat model of Parkinson's disease (6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) exposure). In addition to the beneficial effects on the motor response, VIP could also attenuate both neuronal cell death and the characteristic loss of the myelin sheath that is associated with 6-OHDA administration into the rat striatum. VIP was thought to preserve neurons by inducing native brain mast cells to adopt a nondegranulating phenotype that had the ability to secrete numerous neuroprotective substances, such as nerve growth factor (NGF) and heparin. In the present study, the effect of systemically administered VIP (25 ng/kg i.p.) was investigated on GABA levels of the VATh, dopamine/3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels in the corpus striatum, and the NGF, rat mast cell protease II (RMCPII), serotonin, and heparin content of brain mast cells in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Extracellular concentrations of GABA, dopamine, and DOPAC were measured by microdialysis and high-performance liquid chromatography. NGF, RMCPII, serotonin, and heparin levels were examined by immunohistochemical staining techniques. A total of 48 young adult Sprague-Dawley rats were used in the study, and these were assigned to one of six groups. Unilateral injection of 6-OHDA, 2 microl (6 mg/microl), was made into the right corpus striatum. VIP-treated animals received 25 ng/kg VIP i.p. at 2-day intervals for a period of 15 days. The present results demonstrated that VIP significantly increased the levels of GABA in the VATh that were reduced by 6-OHDA application and increased the number of NGF-immunoreactive mast cells but did not alter dopamine metabolism. Therefore, the protective effect of VIP on motor function is possibly related to the increased levels of GABA in the VATh, and its neuroprotective actions may be mediated by the release of NGF from brain mast cells.
Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 12/2009; 41(2):278-87. · 2.89 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We postulated that a multi-potential agent such as dexanabinol may prevent the development of vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage. We tested the effect of dexanabinol (10 mg/kg) on established vasospasm in a rat femoral artery model. Dexanabinol was given as single or repeated doses. On the 7th day after blood application, vessels were prepared for transmission electron microscopy studies, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end labeling staining, and studying vessel morphology including luminal area and wall thickness. Application of blood to femoral artery caused a significant narrowing of luminal area (p<0.001) and a marked increase of radial wall thickness (p<0.001) when compared to controls. Similar to its single injection, repeated doses of dexanabinol markedly widened luminal area (p<0.001) near to control values (p>0.05) and decreased radial wall thickness significantly compared to hemorrhage (p<0.05) and vehicle-treated groups (for single p<0.05 and repetitive injections p<0.01). Both single and multiple dexanabinol injections also lowered apoptotic index (p<0.001). In conclusion, dexanabinol seems to prevent established vasospasm and endothelial cell apoptosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, the effect of systemically administered vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) (25 ng/kg i.p.) was investigated on drug-induced rotational behavior, extra-cellular dopamine levels and histology of corpus striatum in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced rat model of Parkinson's disease. After 15 days of 6-OHDA lesion, apomorphine-induced (0.05 mg/kg s.c.) rotational behavior of the animals significantly increased and extra-cellular dopamine levels of corpus striatum were significantly reduced. VIP reversed the rotational deficits but did not alter the decrease in striatal dopamine levels. On the other hand, histological data indicate that VIP significantly reduced neuronal death and demyelination. Electron microscopic appearance of mast cells showed ultra-structural variety between VIP-treated and 6-OHDA lesioned groups. VIP activates mast cells without any evidence of typical exocytosis, and possibly mast cells could participate in neuroprotection. Our results suggest that systemically administered VIP can attenuate the motor response changes, neuronal cell death, and myelin sheet loss characteristically associated with 12 microg 6-OHDA administration into the rat striatum. Brain mast cells seem to participate in neuronal protection. Possibly, protective cues could be produced by brain mast cells.